Xcel seeks public input on “Hiawatha Project,” Oct. 29 and Nov. 6

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In an effort to meet growing customer demand for electricity in south Minneapolis, Xcel Energy is proposing the Hiawatha Project — a plan to build new electrical infrastructure, including two new substations and electrical lines to connect them, near the Hiawatha light-rail transit corridor and in the Midtown area.

This week and next, Xcel will hold four meetings, to collect public input, in the basement-level Greenway conference room of the Midtown Global Market, 920 E. Lake St. the meeting dates are:

Wednesday, Oct. 29, noon–2 p.m.
Wednesday, Oct. 29, 5 p.m.–7 p.m.
Thursday, Nov. 6, noon–2 p.m.
Thursday, Nov. 6, 5 p.m.–7 p.m.

Each meeting will be the same. Information collected will be combined with that of neighborhood meetings and used as the company develops the project. Xcel Energy intends to file an application for the project in January 2009, with construction beginning in October 2009 and service delivery beginning by June 2010.

Xcel proposes to invest $15 million to build the new substations, connected by two 115-kilovolt transmission lines. Xcel hopes that the improvements will “ensure that customers have reliable electricity service through the next 20 years,” according to a release from Xcel.

While the exact locations of the lines and substations are yet to be determined, the potential area for the transmission line corridor “stretches as far south as 32nd Street and as far north as 26th Street,”

A map of the potential project area shows that the Hiawatha LRT-area substation could be built in an area on either side of Hiawatha, bounded by East 26th Street to the north, 26th Avenue South to the eest, Lake Street to the south and east side of Pioneers and Soldiers Cemetery and Longfellow Avenue to the west.

The map and more information are available online (visit www.xcelenergy.com and search “Hiawatha Project.”)